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Saturday, December 31, 2016
Books read 2016
Every year, I publish a list of the books I've read in the previous year. I don't know why I have only 44 this year, a down year by comparison with other years, although one reason might be that The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity is a pretty big volume, 1,296 pages in paperback, although as it happens I read it as a Kindle. I haven't tried to differentiate between books I actually read, and books I listened to as an audiobook.
1. Belisarius, the Last Roman General, Ian Hughes.
2. The Turing Exception, William Hertling.
3. A Borrowed Man, Gene Wolfe.
4. The Just City, Jo Walton.
5. Red Rising, Pierce Brown.
6. Joe Steele, Harry Turtledove.
7. Golden Son, Pierce Brown.
8. The Annihilation Score, Charles Stross.
9. Apex, Ramez Naam.
10. Luna, New Moon, Ian McDonald.
11. After the First Death, Lawrence Block.
12. Disasters of Ohio's Lake Erie Islands, Wendy Koile.
13. Deep Shaker, Les Roberts.
14. The Chocolate Falcon Fraud, JoAnna Carl.
15. Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie.
16. Cockpit Confidential, Patrick Smith.
17. Death of a Liar, M.C. Beaton.
18. The Sword of Damascus, Richard Blake.
19. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
20. The Core of the Sun, Johanna Sinisalo.
21. I'll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson.
22. Morning Star, Pierce Brown.
23. To Live Forever, Jack Vance.
24. The Way of Zen, Alan Watts.
25. Timothy Leary's Trip Through Time, R.U. Sirius.
26. The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks.
27. The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, Justin Pollard.
28. Written in Fire, Marcus Sakey.
29. Swing Set, Janice Weber.
30. The Yearbook, Carol Masciola.
31. The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, Andrew Roberts.
32. Love Wins, Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell.
33. The Sun, the Moon & the Rolling Stones, Rich Cohen.
34. Discordian Problems, N. Nash Cage.
35. The Network, Scott Woolley.
36. Arkwright, Allen Steele.
37. What the Dormouse Said, John Markoff.
38. Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, Jesse Walker.
39. Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art, Virginia Heffernan.
30. The Ghosts of Athens, Richard Blake.
31. 1920: The Year That Made the Decade Roar, Eric Burns.
32. Medieval Russia: 980-1584,Janet Martin.
33. The Investment Club, Doug Cooper.
34. Cosmic Trigger 1, Robert Anton Wilson.
35. Travel Writing, Peter Ferry.
36. The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore.
37. The Beetle, Richard Marsh.
38. A Tower in Babel: A History of Broadcasting in the United States to 1933, Eric Barnouw.
39. Exit Right, Daniel Oppenheimer.
40. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity, Scott Johnson.
41. Speculator, Douglas R. Casey.
42. The Secret War, Max Hastings.
43. Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut, Paul Krassner.
44. Panacea, F. Paul Wilson.
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I'll have to check through your list, but already The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, by Justin Pollard looks damn good. Happy New Year.
Read half as many books next year, passionately, and review them all?
Well, over time I've read five of those books (the Watts book, "Apex," the Krassner, the Leary biography and the reread of "Cosmic Trigger 1") plus one of the books on Tom's list that annoyed me so much I didn't finish it. I've been reading more literary fiction (currently "The Nix," by Nathan Hill) and rereading the entire opus of Agatha Christie. I don't count my reads but must have read more than 50 this year since 40 of them were the Christies, which are easily consumed within two days.
@Tony, Happy New Year to you, too. The Pollard is quite interesting. He makes the case that Alexandria has been overlooked as the intellectual capital of the ancient world.
@Benjay, I can't imagine fewer books but I should write more reviews.
@fyreflye, What was the book that annoyed you so much? Which Christie novels should I try?
@Tom, start at the beginning with "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" and proceed chronologically. Amazon has a listing of her fiction in order. You may not necessarily like her, or all of her, but there's a reason she's still the best selling author of all time except for God.
As an admirer of the great novelist, essayist and polemicist James Baldwin I found Coates' pale imitation of Baldwin's masterly essays actually offensive. He whines when he should be raging. For the real thing read "The Fire Next Time," even more relevant today than in the 60's.
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